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Geoffrion Continues Tear as Ads Down Rockford

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It was University of Wisconsin night at the Bradley Center on Friday night and it was a Badger who provided the offense as the Milwaukee Admirals downed the Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks affiliate, 4-2.

The team wore Wisconsin-themed jerseys, played in front of the Wisconsin Marching Band, and gave away Blake Geoffrion Bobbleheads. Geoffrion lived up the billing, posting four points on the night (1g-3a), including the game winner, as he continued his hot play.  In his last three games, the reigning AHL Player of the Week has totaled ten points on four goals and six assists.

In the first period each team came out slow as neither could put the puck into the back of the net. The only bit of excitement occurred at the 9:33 mark when Milwaukee’s Scott Ford and Rockford’s Wade Brookbank, a former Admiral, dropped the gloves. Other than that, the first period was a story of missed power play opportunity for the Admirals, as they had three opportunities to capitalize but were denied by the Hogs, holding the score 0-0 going after one.

The Hogs went up 1-0 at the 3:09 mark into the second as Brookbank scored his second goal of the season.  The Hogs got the puck moving as defensemen Brian Connelly ripped a shot off, but the puck then deflected off successor Brookbank where he redirected the go-ahead goal past Mark Dekanich.

The Ads would answer three minutes later at 6:09 as Linus Klasen drove through the slot to open up captain Brett Palin on the far dot. Palin took a quick shot that would make it past Ice Hogs goaltender Hannu Toivonen and give Palin his first as an Admiral and his first of the season. Geoffrion was also credited with an assist on the play.

Later on at the 17th minute the Admirals scored another goal, this one from Ryan Thang.  Geoffrion received a pass in the high slot from Jonathon Blum, who was near boards. Geoffrion settled the puck and with little hesitation the reigning Hobey Baker winner fired a slap shot that was deflected off Thang and past netminder Toivonen.

The Admirals continued with their third goal in the third period when Geoffrion managed to find his own way to the back of the net at 11:46. The Wisconsin alum made his highlight of the night as he carried the puck from behind the net to the top of the slot where he then blasted a shot towards Toivonen where it skipped off his right leg pad and into the net. Roman Josi and Gabriel Bourque received assists on the goal.

Rockford responded quickly, however, as center Jeff Taffe took on two Admirals in the attacking zone, desperately chopping at the puck before finally sending it past Dekanich at 12:35 of the third.

The IceHogs used an extra attacker as they pulled goaltender Toivonen, but it did not work out as Palin scored his second goal of the season on an empty net at 19:11.

The Admirals won and exited to the Wisconsin Marching Band on the ice for the “fourth period”.

Game Notes
  • Dekanich racked up his 19th win of the season, moving him into second place in the AHL behind the Abbotsford Heat’s Leland Irving. Irving has played 10 more games than Dekanich and has just one more win.
  • Brett Palin was on a 75-game goalless drought going into this game. It took him around 34 minutes to score another.
  • Tonight, the Ads head to Grand Rapids to take on the Detroit Red Wings affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, on the same night that the two parent clubs face each other.
Box Score
Team 1 2 3 Final
Rockford IceHogs 0 1 1 2
Milwaukee Admirals 0 2 2 4
Location Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Winning Goaltender Mark Dekanich
Losing Goaltender Hannu Toivonen
First Star Blake Geoffrion (MIL) – 1G – 3A – 4P
Second Star Brett Palin (MIL) – 2G
Third Star Brian Connelly (RFD) – 2A
Attendance 8,626